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Visitation Hospital Foundation Celebrates 15 Years with Expansion of their Healthcare Services in Haiti

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Haiti has often been in the news for hurricane destruction in recent years and historically for problematic politics, with troubling issues dating back to when Columbus claimed the area, which was occupied and owned by the many people who already lived there.

But the news isn’t all doom and gloom. For more than a decade, citizens of southwest Haiti have had access to better healthcare, parental education, and basics like clean drinking water, thanks to the Visitation Hospital Foundation, which celebrates its 15th year with a groundbreaking for the addition of an ambulatory surgery center adjacent to the current clinic.

Founder and executive director Theresa Patterson founded the foundation in 1999 in Nashville, Tenn., and the hospital’s clinic opened in January 2008 in Haiti to serve Petite Rivière de Nippes and its surrounding areas. The mission was to provide competent and compassionate healthcare to adults and children, including such clinical care as medical, dental, pharmacy, lab, and x-ray services, as well as prenatal parent education by trained midwives and access to basic needs like clean drinking water.

To date, the clinic has served over 360,000 patients in Petite Riviere de Nippes.

One of the challenges they currently face is when their team finds a patient who needs surgery. We have to refer them to a hospital that may or may not have the capacity to address their needs. Unfortunately, we have found that patients often cannot afford or gain access to simple surgeries that would vastly improve their quality of life. To address this challenge, Patterson and her new development director, Rhyan Preyer are working toward raising $3.5 million to expand the clinic in Haiti to include a new ambulatory surgical center. VHF has provided compassionate, competent care for the people who live within a two-hour radius of the clinic, which turns no one away. The foundation pays for everything, including the patients’ medicine. So for about $2 US, when they come in, they receive bloodwork, a diagnosis, and necessary medications, and they get everything needed, including patient follow-up visits. 

Patterson is changing one pattern, however, by welcoming public participation in the latest venture by inviting to help celebrate the coming VHF improvements through the first annual hope and healing affair featuring the number one Frank Sinatra impersonator in the Perry Dano’s Band. This charitable gala occurs at the Standard on October 26 in Nashville, Tenn.

Patterson went to Haiti as a young woman and has worked there helping people for 44 years. Now, a new generation enters into this legacy of caring: her grand-niece, silver medal-winning Olympic swimmer Alex Walsh, who swims for the University of Virginia and is in training for the summer 2024 Olympics Games. Walsh, who has continued to win national medals, is on board to help her great-aunt spread the word about the Visitation Hospital Foundation and this latest opportunity for support. She’s glad to help reach her many social media followers.

 “A lot of UVA students follow me. And I have a lot of connections after the Olympics, and I have a lot of followers in Nashville. So, I’m hoping this would be able to reach at least two demographics of people to spread awareness,” Walsh says. “The swim team here, we’re very conscious of giving back to our community, like our swim team is already involved in many nonprofits and missions. Now I’m hoping to spread awareness at least and help with the fund-raising for her cause.”

The Visitation Hospital Foundation clinic has operated for 15 years through earthquakes, floods, tropical storms, and oppression. The Haitian staff consists of 30 members who serve over 300,000 people living within the 11 surrounding regions of Petite Riviere. Staffing of the new addition will include 15 additional full-time medical professionals.

Members of the editorial and news staff of the Daily Caller were not involved in the creation of this content.